"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Tools for Teaching and Learning with the Mock Caldecott

I enjoy running a Mock Caldecott unit with my students. Each year, we review the criteria, read the books, and place our votes. 

The Books
You can find the six books we'll be reading and exploring on this blog post: The 2015 Mock Caldecott List.

The Criteria
Each year I would wrestle with language that I think will make the Caldecott Medal Criteria more accessible to my elementary students.  The task is daunting and I was never sure I got it right.  Until last year... I decided to take the five criteria and translate them into this:

"In identifying a “distinguished American picture book for children,” defined as illustration, committee members need to consider:"

a.   Excellence
b.   Appropriateness
c.   Importance
d.   Appeal

The Signage
I plan to create posters in the library similar to this:

And have questions like this near our reading rug:

Do these illustrations demonstrate excellence in the technique (collage, painting, wood carvings) employed? 

Is the technique employed a good match for the mood, tone and themes in the story?

Are the illustrations critical to the understanding of the story? 

Will the design of the book and the illustrations appeal to a child audience? 

The Tools
The students will be using a 
Google Form to evaluate each book.

The final vote will also be via Google Form.

As for how this will all occur before January 29th (when I leave for ALA Midwinter), well, that's what I'll be working out tomorrow night!

For those who want to know where I started, here's the official language:

"In identifying a “distinguished American picture book for children,” defined as illustration, committee members need to consider:

a.   Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed;
b.   Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or       
c.   Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or 
d.   Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or 
      information through the pictures;
e.   Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience."

[Adopted by the ALSC board, January 1978. Revised, Midwinter 1987. Revised, Annual 2008.]

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